Bradberry_ niagara’s personal history touches everyone _ opinion _ niagara-gazette. com

Effective storytellers know how to weave and purposefully braid those otherwise meaningless lists of names, dates, places and events together into cogent, rational stories that give voice to thousands of our ancestors whose journeys toward Liberty and Justice we cannot know any other way.

For African Americans, our historical records appeared to be impossible to research beyond slavery, but recent gains in research technology have made things a whole lot easier.

Enter the Human Genome Project aka, HGP, “one of the great feats of exploration in history — an inward voyage of discovery rather than an outward exploration of the planet or the cosmos; an international research effort to sequence and map all of the genes — together known as the genome — of members of our species, Homo sapiens.

The USGenWeb Project ( is one example of the growth of internet sites that grew out of the project to offer help to beginning researchers. Facebook search friends by city A group of volunteers working together to provide free genealogy websites for genealogical research in every county and every state of the U.S., the project is “non-commercial and fully committed to free genealogy access for everyone.”

Other commercial sites such as, My Heritage, Family Tree Builder, 23 and Me, Fold 3 and many others are offering all manner of research assistance for a fee, including DNA test kits, and historical events collections.

During the Black History Month Celebration event sponsored by the Highland Avenue Revitalization Committee, Inc and the City of Niagara Falls, local native Saladin Allah, journalist, author and youth advocate, stood up to share his quest for his own personal history.

It led him to tell the story of Josiah Henson who lived from June 15, 1789 – May 5, 1883.

Small front yard landscaping ideas pictures He is believed to have inspired the title character of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” Born into slavery in Maryland, he escaped to upper Canada (now Ontario) in 1830 and founded a settlement and laborer’s school for other fugitive slaves at Dawn, near Dresden, in Kent County. Where to buy fabric Henson was an author, abolitionist and minister.

When Saladin Allah reached the point in the story where he asked the young students he was addressing his remarks to, “How bad must things have been for Josiah Henson to decide to break the chains of his bondage and walk all the way to Canada?”

It really hit home when Saladin began to weep. Garden centre In front of everybody. Patchwork definition He wept uncontrollably for a while, until Niagara Falls High School student, Mia Maye brook the silence, offering Saladin a hug.

We all took a collective deep breath, having watched, and internalized what had just happened right before our eyes, the very real impact that ancestral information and knowledge about our past can have on all of us today.

Hoping to capitalize on the positive benefits of learning our history, the Underground Railroad Consortium of New York State in partnership with Akiba Travel will host its inaugural tour of New York State UGRR sites, departing from the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center on March 24-25 and end in Schenectady making several stops along the way, including Akwaaba, Rochester; Seward House, Auburn; Onondaga Historical Society and the Abolition Hall of Fame, Peterboro. Fantasy football yahoo mock draft There will be options to join the group at selected sites along the way.

Travelers will become immersed in the narratives of the passionate men and women who risked their lives for freedom and those who helped them. Fantasy baseball trade analyzer There will be first person interpreters, visits to actual Underground Railroad homes, singing and a 19th Century heritage inspired meal before arriving at their final destination.

Those on the tour will attend the Liberty Con 2017, Americans@Risk: Race, Denial, Privilege, and Who Matters”. Little league baseball age chart Complete Liberty Con info is available at

“Liberty Con 2017 is an exciting opportunity to look back at the issues of injustice embedded in the Underground Railroad movement, analyze how the legacy of the institution of slavery is present with us today, and dialogue about ways we can contribute to creating a better future,” states Mary Liz Stewart, executive director and co-founder of the Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region and the Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence.

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